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Old 01-09-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
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ceiling fan height


Whoo boy. Well, I've been working on this house since we bought it in August and the kids are occupying one of the 2 bedrooms upstairs, both have been gutted to rewire and insulate them. This is a 1 1/2 floor house, so the second floor is like a finished attic with sloped ceilings going up to the horizontal part of the ceiling.

I'm doing the last work today for electrical rough inspection, and I can't wait to get it done so I can drywall my daughter's bedroom and get them seperated so they'll get more sleep and not be crazy all day...K it probably won't make much of a difference, but it's something to hope for.

Anyway, I've been planning to put in ceiling fans. I just thought to check the height, and the ceiling to floor is 7 feet. I know this would put the fans blades at 73" above the floor and this is below manufacturer's recommendations. The kids are 4 years old and 5 years old, so I'm not worried about them, and my wife is 5'6 while I'm 5'11. These will be over their beds.

I plan on having the entire second floor rebuilt in about 5 years, and I know that you just can't be certain that thos sort of plans are actually definitely going to happen. I guess if I had to sell I could easily change to a straightforward light fixture.

My question is whether there are any code problems with me putting in a ceiling fan on a 7' ceiling. If I had to I know how I could do it but it'd be a major pain.

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Old 01-09-2011, 05:25 PM   #2
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If your ceiling is lower than 8 you will require a ceiling fan hugger or a fan that is flush mounted to the ceiling with no down rod.

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Old 01-09-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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I do not think it would be against the codes since it is just a fixture that may be changed.

With a short down rod, it will not be as efficient (which may be good situation for your bedroom application), but it will provide adequate circulation. There is a relationship between the distance from the ceiling to get the maximum efficieny and up-force or down-force when on high.

Just a personal preference, but I absolutely hate the ugly fans with bulbs and fluted shades lights hanging down. I bought a couple of great fans (totally wireless) after hit the on wall switch position. They have two concealed lights (one lower and one upper that can be on simultaneously or separately) that do not required the extra permanent wiring in the wall. One in a vaulted ceiling and the other in an open foyer that work great for both lighting and provide more than enough air movement and not require moving furniture to change the speed or direction.

I am trying to find similar fans that will work in conventional or even lower situations, so if you run across any, give me a heads-up.

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Old 01-09-2011, 06:18 PM   #4
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I'm planning on getting the same fans we had put up in our house in Indiana for the kids:

http://www.hunterfan.com/Products/Ce...nabelle-20415/
http://www.hunterfan.com/Products/Ce...scovery-20168/

I am not one to have much sense for decoration, being an engineer I'm a form follows function kind of guy, so I defer to my wife for style and she also doesn't like the ceiling fans with the multiple bulbs with glass shades.

Both of these ceiling fans can be installed flush mounted. I'll hang on to the standard mount hardware so we can reuse these and mount them with the drop rod when we rebuild the second floor and have 8' ceilings.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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that rocket fan is awesome. wish i would have seen that one before i got a fan for my son's room
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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If you're concerned about permits, the ceiling height is your bigger problem. Most codes require a minimum height of 7'6". And since this is a bedroom, do you have a code-compliant egress windows??
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
Just a personal preference, but I absolutely hate the ugly fans with bulbs and fluted shades lights hanging down.
DITTO. Absolutely tacky, and guaranteed to look outdated within a few years of the installation. It doesn't make sense to have four ugly shades with puny 25-40 W, expensive, short-lived, inefficient bulbs in them instead of having one or two good sockets that can handle high-wattage bulbs under an attractive cover.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
If you're concerned about permits, the ceiling height is your bigger problem. Most codes require a minimum height of 7'6". And since this is a bedroom, do you have a code-compliant egress windows??
The ceiling height is without a doubt as it was originally constructed in 1917, prior to my having gutted it the original lath and plaster was still in place. I'm assuming that would make it grandfathered.

Windows are without question well beyond egress window requirements, something like 4' x 5' double hung. I may have to use the windows to get sheets of drywall up there, it may be easier than navigating the turn at the top of the stairs.

It's funny, the neighbor was telling me that he was saying to the previous owner that instead of spending money on windows and kitchen cabinet, maybe he should've been doing the roof first. The windows are actually one of the things that don't need replacement. The kitchen cabinets, well... the sink base was rotted from water damage, and I replaced the entire row to make room for a dishwasher, but they didn't otherwise *need* replacement, but they'll go after I get done with what *needs* to be replaced.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:37 PM   #9
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Never "assume" anything. It has never happened to me, but I know there are jurisdictions that, for a remodel, require everything brought up to current code.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:00 PM   #10
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I think hanging the fans over the beds with low ceilings may be a problem. With 84 inch ceiling height, the girls fan will be 5'7" above floor, the rocket fan will be 5'5" above floor. Beds are usually about 2"above floor. This leaves only about 41-43 inches above the beds to bottom of the fan/light. Think about the kids jumping

I would locate the fans so they are not over the beds.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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Well, on that subject, I was discussing this in person with somebody else and he suggested that I think about it in terms of if it was a straight vertical wall framed room. Requiring that the height be increased because you were removing lath and plaster to insulate and rewire would be to require jacking up the roof, replacing wall studs and expecting to still be able to set it back down and secure it. In other words, it's not a reasonable expectation.

Besides that, the permits I have are a building permit for the roof, a building permit for adding structural beams in the crawl space, an electrical permit for rewiring the second floor and kitchen with a new subpanel, a plumbing permit for the dishwasher, a mechanical for replacement gas pipes for the water heater and gas range. I was not required a building permit for replacement kitchen cabinets, insulating or interior wall replacement.

For my part, raising the ceiling would have been something I could do, although at this point it would require redoing work I've already done with wiring and insulation, but it wouldn't be a major structural undertaking... I'd remove ceiling joists, cut them shorter and reattach them to rafters further up. I'd face issues with working around the dormers because raising the ceiling in the dormers would put the joists above the bottom of the rafters, I'd probably have to leave that ceiling where it is and step down to it from the other ceiling where it could be raised... And I don't know what all of this would do for aesthetics or proportions.

In fact, I think that if I decided to make the change, I might have to involve an engineer since this is potentially a part of the roof structure.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
I think hanging the fans over the beds with low ceilings may be a problem. With 84 inch ceiling height, the girls fan will be 5'7" above floor, the rocket fan will be 5'5" above floor. Beds are usually about 2"above floor. This leaves only about 41-43 inches above the beds to bottom of the fan/light. Think about the kids jumping

I would locate the fans so they are not over the beds.
Both are pretty similar fans, and with flush mounting it's about 10" from ceiling to bottom of fan blades, so more like 6'2". The girls room is actually less of a concern, she's going to have a castle bunk bed and the second story of it is used for play, the bed in the bottom doesn't really have room for jumping. It has a staircase on one end and a slide on the other, the ceiling fan will be around the middle of the slide, so it's not going to be somewhere anyone will hit it.

Castle bed I built:
http://www.playhousedesigns.com/daca.html

My boy has a space shuttle bed. The fan box is in the center of the room, so I believe the way it will most likely end up, the ceiling fan will be located above the nose of the bed which is more like a shelf, rather than over the mattress. I think the positioning is going to end up where the fan won't be directly over any mattress, but the bed will obstruct walking directly under the fan anyway.

Space shuttle bed I built:
http://www.dreamlight.com/insights/12/BlastOffBed.html

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